A REVIEW OF: The League of Grateful Sons – DVD (2005) – Directed by Doug Phillips – Distributed by Vision Forum


“The League of Grateful Sons” is Part One of a Two Part Series entitled  “The Faith of Our Fathers Project”.   Part One focuses on the WWII battle of Iwo Jima.  Part Two  “WWII: D-Day and the Providence of God” (Published October 22, 2011) is the European equivalent. (1)  Directed by Doug Phillips and co-produced by Geoff Botkin and Doug Phillips. Distributed by American Vision.

SUMMARY –  This documentary series is an attempt to use the historical circumstances of WWII to teach lessons in Christian theology and ethics.  The several “theological” themes Phillips is seeking to promote through this series include: a neoconservative (2) view of “Christian” patriotism, biblical manliness, and  “inter-generational faithfulness”.   This film is organized around historical reenactments and the oral histories of WWII veteran participants and family member’s comments (in itself, a worthwhile endeavor).  It then uses these to teach lessons in Christian “theology” by means of commentary by Phillips and the film narrator.   Unfortunately, this film contains significant (and inexcusable) errors of historical fact and biblical exegesis.  [The criticism of this film is NOT directed, in any way, toward any of the veterans or the family members who participated.  The parts of the film which contain these personal interviews are, by far, the best feature of this documentary.]

DISCUSSION – The most glaring error of historical fact (and upon which many of the other errors in this documentary are connected) is Phillips’ assertion that WWII was a war of “Christendom against Statism”. (3)  It is critical to Phillips’ contention that WWII be viewed as a war between “Good verses Evil” nations or a form of biblical “Holy War” (Phillips’ own characterization of the conflict).   Germany, Italy, and Japan were the three principal nations which the United States fought during the Second World War.  Phillips’ argument requires that Germany and Italy be excluded from historic Christendom.  His attempt is historically and theologically untenable.   Additionally, the Stalinist led Soviet Union (arguably one of the most evil governments in modern history exceeding even the Nazis, by a significant margin, in innocent victims) (4) is allied with England and the United States and, by default, is part of Phillips’ assemblage of “Holy” nations.

It is indisputable historical reality that both World Wars were wars between predominately Christian nations. (5)  The famous WWI “Christmas truce” of 1914 began in the German trenches and is evidence of their Christian heritage. (6) Germany is made up of former republics from the Holy Roman Empire (7) (part of Christendom (8) for over one thousand years) (9) and was the birth place of Teutonic Knights (10), Johannes Gutenberg (11), Martin Luther (12), the Protestant Reformation (13) and the Heidelberg Catechism (14).  When Louis XIV, king of France, revoked the Edict of Nantes (15) in 1685, a significant percentage from the exodus of the French Huguenots (Calvinists) resettled in Brandenburg-Prussia (16) and other German (17) states and, in particular, the capital city of Berlin. (18)  Today Germany contains as many people identifying themselves as Christian per capita as England (and more than France). (19)  Invariably, American Christians killed German Christians and vice versa (many of those Germans killed being noncombatants).  Certainly the Hitler and  Mussolini governments were not Christian (a distinction must be recognized between the Nazi or Fascist governments and the German (20) and Italian peoples) but the same can be said of the Churchill or FDR governments, in particular as to how they conducted the war. (21)  Churchill’s disregard for the rules of war (22) and his barbarity towards German civilians in both WWI (23) and WWII (24) is astounding and should shock every one who claims to be Christian. (25)   FDR’s unconstitutional (and unchristian) provocations against Germany (unsuccessful) (26) and Japan (successful) (27) to attack the U.S. and justify (28) American entry into WWII should be equally shocking. (29)

Phillips’ interpretations of Scripture appears very problematic.  First, he promotes a Christian neoconservative view of the state that equates defending the United States with defending Christianity.  Phillips’ philosophy of war is unbiblical, and promotes a nationalist agenda contrary to a true Christian worldview. (30)   His novel interpretation of the commandment to “honor your father and your mother” suggests that there should be some “special” Christian honor due  American war veterans (not because they are veterans who happen to be “Christian” but because they are veterans who are “American”).  He proclaims that God will destroy America if these “national fathers” are not so “honored”.   He also proposes that WWII was a Christian “Holy War” (31).  It is astounding that Phillips would arbitrarily suggest that, in this New Covenant age, Christians are to establish God’s Kingdom by means of military conquest instead of the Kingdom advancement by means of the gospel entering into the hearts of men. Additionally, he suggests that “multi-generational faithfulness”, instead of being found principally in the Church (baptism) or the family,  should be nationalistic in character.    Phillips’ mystical and gnostic view of the battlefield is concerning.  The “wisdom from the battlefield” becomes a special kind of  “biblical wisdom” obtained only though this initiation into war.   Phillips likens one of the featured veterans and his battlefield recollections to that of a “preacher” pouring out “pearls of great wisdom”.

For Phillips, war is the preferred stage where “biblical manliness” is to be played.    Phillips’ view of manhood finds its ultimate definition and authority from the battlefield and only those who are on “God’s side” reflect a “holy warrior” characteristic   Phillips states that “Iwo Jima uniquely modeled the very best qualities of biblical manhood” (emphasis added).  It appears that this so-called character of “Christian manhood”  is to be applied to U.S. soldiers without regard to their individual faith.

Phillips’ perspective of Christian fatherhood is also questionable.  The Westminster Larger Catechism asks as its first question;  “What is the chief and highest end of man?” with  its answer “…to glorify God and enjoy him forever”. Phillips suggests the chief end of a father should be to “make sons (into) warriors” and make “warriors for God”.  The secondary fatherly mission, according to Phillips, is to make his children “love this country”.   The unspoken implication is unmistakable – it is a father’s religious duty to raise up his sons as potential “cannon fodder” for the state.

The film also endorses the “soldier heresy”- a soldier’s death takes on a religious interpretation and is equated with the sacrifice of Christ (an alternative heresy is that a soldier’s death earns God’s eternal merit).    Phillips’ philosophy consistently promotes allegiance to the nation as a duty even higher than the duty one has as a Christian (what could be called  “Patriotic Idolatry”). (32)

In conclusion, Phillips suggests that the American participants in WWII are “national fathers” and they secured our liberties by their sacrifice on various WWII battlefields.   Unfortunately, historical facts are contrary to this claim.  He appears ignorant of the fact that, at least since the Civil War,  the wars which the United States participated in have led to significant loss of American liberties (and NOT the preservation thereof).  (33)  War, by its very nature, tends to greatly expand the power and scope (34) of the national government. (35)  This expansion is always at the expense of individual liberties. (36)  Phillips claims to oppose statism.   Sadly, because he has equated Christendom with the modern governmental institutions of the United States, Phillips has become a cheerleader for the very statism which he had condemned in the Axis powers of WWII.

  1. Part Two was originally published as : “Normandy: A Final Farewell to our WWII Fathers”
  2. Neoconservative political philosophy is characterized by a militaristic, interventionist foreign policy.  Neoconservatism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservatism (accessed November 30, 2012).
  3. Phillips’ juxtaposition of “Christendom against Statism” is somewhat problematic.  First, these terms are never defined either explicitly or by implication.  More importantly, these terms are not, by necessity, opposites.  There can be (and have been – for example; Cromwell’s England or the Puritans) “Christian government” that reflects certain degrees of statism.  It would would be helpful, therefore, to distinguish between economic statism and totalitarian governments that extinguish other divinely ordained or natural liberties.  Statism is when government controls “either economic or social policy, or both, to some degree.”    Statism  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statism (accessed December 2, 2012).

The most important distinction between the statism of Nazi Germany and the statism of the U.S.is that ever expanding statism in the U.S., at this time, was primarily economic (the New Deal) whereas Nazi statism was both economic and involved the systemic murder, by a criminal state, of millions of its own and other nation’s citizens.  However, the U.S. has a history of similar criminal conduct by its government:  Union troops targeted the civilian populations of the southern states during the Civil War (Southern War for Independence), the attempted eradication and genocide of the Plains Indians from    1860-90,  the genocide of Filipino populations during the Philippine-American War in 1899-1902 (Philippine War for Independence),  the “Starvation Blockade” of Germany which lasted well after the hostilities in WWI ended (enforced by Great Britain and acquiesced to by the U.S.), the bombing of civilian population centers in Germany and Japan during WWII,  the targeting of civilians in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and, recently, the estimated one half million Iraqi children dead due to U.N. economic sanctions (such sanctions being insisted upon by the U.S.). Rahul Mahajan. ‘We Think the Price Is Worth It’ http://fair.org/extra- online-articles/we-think-the-price-is-worth-it/  (accessed Novermber 12, 2012).

There were significant similarities between FDR’s New Deal economic policies and that of the Soviet communists and the Nazi and Italian Fascists.  Professor Emeritus in European History Ralph Racio states, “It goes without saying that the New Deal was a much milder form of the collectivist plague. (Italian fascism, too, never remotely matched the brutality and oppression of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia.) It is a matter of family resemblances. All of these systems tilted the balance sharply towards the state and away from society. In all of them, government gained power at the expense of the people, with the leaders seeking to impose a philosophy of life that subordinated the individual to the needs of the community — as defined by the state.”   Ralph Racio,  “FDR and the Collectivist Wave: http://mises.org/daily/5235 (accessed November 16, 2012).  See also: John T. Flynn, “Good and Bad Fascists”       http://mises.org/daily/2360/ (accessed December 1, 2012). David Gordon, “Three New Deals: Why the Nazis and Fascists Loved FDR”  http://mises.org/daily/2312 (accessed December 1, 2012). Wolfgang Schivelbusch.  2006. Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt’s America, Mussolini’s Italy,  and Hitler’s Germany, 1933-1939.  (Henry Holt and Company, New York).

       Other branches of the Federal government expanded the power of the state over against the natural rights of the individual.  In the U.S. Supreme Court case of Wickard v. Filburn, the Court greatly extended their interpretation of the  Commerce Clause to impose federal power (statism – state control of the economy)  over wheat grown by a farmer (Roscoe Filburn) on his own land for his own consumption. It was demanded of Filburn, by order of the Court, to destroy the wheat he had grown for his own use. Wickard v. Filburn. 317 U.S. 111 (1942).

  1. One estimate of the innocent  persons killed (noncombat deaths) by the Soviet government under Stalin is 56,039,000 (1917-1953).  From 1935-1945 the Soviet government is estimated to have murdered 22,502,000 persons (with an additional 15,613,000 murdered from 1946-1953). R.J. Rummel, Death by Government http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE4.HTM (accessed November 12, 2012).In comparison, the Nazi government, under Hitler, is estimated to have murdered  20,946,000 innocent persons from 1933-1945.  R.J. Rummel, Death by Government http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NAZIS.CHAP1.HTM (accessed November 12, 2012).
  2. The nations of Europe, which originated in their interaction with one another in the context of Western Christendom, became more and more detached from one another in the nineteenth century.  With World War I, they broke apart violently and destroyed the common bonds that had previously held them together, however loosely.  And in the late twentieth century we still suffer from the nationalistic historiography that originated in the nineteenth century and that supported the disintegration of the common Western legal heritage.” Harold J. Berman. 1983. Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press (17). 
  3. In a remarkable soldier initiated event,  German soldiers began by placing candle lighted Christmas trees above their trenches on Christmas Eve.  On Christmas Day, an informal truce was recognized. The two sides met in “no man’s land” to collect the wounded then they both helped the other bury their dead.   The German and English soldiers joined together in singing Christmas carols, exchange gifts, and shared in communal meals.  Stanley Weintraub. 2002. Silent Night: The Story of the World War I  Christmas Truce.  Plume: New York.  See also:  John V. Denson, The Christmas Truce of World War I http://mises.org/daily/1978/ (accessed November 12, 2012).
  4. The empire, founded by Charlemagne (784-814),  had been from the beginning a universal idea superimposed on a diverse multitude of tribal, local, and lordship units.  It was not a territorial entity but was the sphere of authority…of the person of the emperor, who represented the religious unity of Western Christendom and its military resistance to Norse, Arab, Slavic, and Magyar attacks…For two hundred years the “German” empire  continued to be called the Empire of the Franks , or the Christian Empire. Then in the early eleventh century the  practice was instituted of giving…the future emperor the title “King of the Romans”…In the twelfth century , the empire itself came to be called, for the first time, the Roman Empire…in the thirteenth century… (it came) to be called the Holy Roman Empire and, finally, in the fifteenth century, rhe Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.”   Harold J. Berman, Law and Revolution (482-83).  See also: Holy Roman Empire   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Roman_Empire (accessed November 2, 2012).
  5. Christendom   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christendom (accessed November 21, 2012).Western Christianity.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Christendom (accessed December 1, 2012). History of Western Civilization http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Western_civilization (accessed December 1, 2012).
  6. The Christianization of the Germanic peoples began (at the latest) by the 3rd century, includes the “Baptism of Clovis I “ in 496 and was completed with the Christianization of Scandinavia (the Viking) around the 12th century. Germanic Christianity  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_Christianity (accessed December 1, 2012). See also:   Clovis I   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_I   (accessed December 1, 2012). Gothic Christianity  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_Christianity (accessed December 1, 2012).
  7. Teutonic Knights http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teutonic_Knights (accessed December 1, 2012).
  8. The Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed (as opposed to a manuscript which is hand copied ) by movable type in the West. Johannes Gutenberg   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gutenberg_Bible (accessed December 1, 2012).
  9. Luther’s translation of the Bible into German (the New Testament in 1522 and the complete Bible with Apocrypha in 1534) was one of the most important Bibles written in a vernacular (or common and not Latin) language for the people of Europe and predates Tyndale’s English New Testament (1526) and Coverdale’s English Bible with Apocrypha (1535). Luther’s Bible is later than the Wyclif English Bible (1383) and the early manuscripts or fragments written in Gothic or Frankish tongues (which date from the 4th through the 9th centuries),   Luther’s Bible is translated from the original languages of Greek and Hebrew and marks a permanent break with the Latin Vulgate in Protestant Germany.  John L. Jeffcoat, III, “English Bible History” http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/#timeline (accessed December 1, 2012). Luther Bible http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Bible (accessed December 1, 2012). Bible translations into German  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Bible_translations (accessed December 1, 2012).
  10. The Heidelberg Catechism is the German contribution to the “Three Forms of Unity”.  The Three Forms of Unity consist of the Belgic Confession (French – 1561), the Canons of Dort (Dutch – 1618-19) and the Heidelberg Catechism (German – 1563) and, together, formed a unifying statement of faith for the Reformed churches of Continental Europe.  The Heidelberg Catechism was commissioned by Frederick III, sovereign of the German state in the Holy Roman Empire called the Electoral Palatinate.  The primary author of the Catechism was Zacharias Ursinus, a theologian at the University of Heidelberg (the oldest university in Germany).   Heidelberg Catechism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidelberg_Catechism (accessed January 20, 2013).
  11. Frederick, Elector of Saxony, was the secular protector of Luther. Without the protection of this German magistrate, the Reformation in Germany (and Luther himself) might have been short lived. With the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, the princes within the Holy Roman Empire were permitted to select Protestantism (Lutheranism) or Catholicism for their particular realm.  While Calvinism made significant inroads early on in the German Reformation, the German speaking republics (including Austria) became divided primarily between Lutheranism and Catholicism. Peace of Augsburghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_of_Augsburg (accessed December 1, 2012).
  12. The Edict of Nantes (1598) brought about peace and a measure of toleration between the Catholics and Protestants in France where there was almost continuous and devastating warfare from the 1560’s through the 1590’s.  French Wars of Religion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Wars_of_Religion (accessed December 1, 2012).
  13. In response to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes,  Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, issued the Edict of Potsdam which provided public encouragement, protection, and incentives for Huguenot resettlement to certain German republics. Edict of Potsdam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edict_of_Potsdam (accessed December 1, 2012). Huguenot   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huguenot (accessed December 1, 2012).
  14. George I was both king of Great Britain and Ireland (ascending the British throne in 1714) and ruler of the principality of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire (Germany).  George’s language (German), place of birth and where he was raised (Hanover) were factors considered unimportant by the British Parliament.  The most important consideration was that George was the closest relative to Queen Anne who was Protestant in his religion.  Parliament’s choice of George as the replacement to the deceased Queen Anne helps illustrate Christendom before the rise of the nationalism of the nineteenth century.  The union of the thrones of Great Britain (later the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland) and Hanover did not end until 1837. Hanover continued as an sovereign principality until 1866 when it was annexed by Prussia and the House of Hohenzollern (a competing royal family).   The German Kaiser and the British King were both grandsons of Queen Victoria and the British royal families living during the Second World War continued to have many close German relatives. George I of Great Britain  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_I_of_Great_Britain (accessed December 1, 2012). House of Hanover    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Hanover (accessed December 1, 2012).  Queen Victoria http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_of_the_United_Kingdom (accessed December 1, 2012).  Another “foreign” king coming out of Protestant Christendom was William III.   William of Orange became king of England, Ireland and Scotland  and jointly reigned with his wife Mary during a period called the “Glorious Revolution” that began in 1689.  William was born and raised in Holland and reigned over several states in the Dutch Republic beginning in 1672 until he became king in England.   William III of England  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_III_of_England (accessed December 1, 2012).
  15. Jacques Barzun. 2000. From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, New York: HarperCollins  (301).
  16. As of 2010, approximately 62-78% of Germans are identified as Christians compared to 69-72% in England,  64% in France, and  88-91% in Italy (2006).   Russia is at 70% (primarily Eastern Orthodox) and the U.S. Is around 73%.  English Christians are primarily Protestant. German Christianity is equally divided  between Catholicism and Protestantism.  Christianity in France and Italy is overwhelming Catholic.   Religion in Germany http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Germany (accessed November23, 2012).  Al Webb. 2012.  “Atheists likely to outnumber Christians in England in 20 Years”.  The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/atheists-likely-to-outnumber-christians-in-england-in-20-years/2012/03/09/gIQA2Bqb1R_story.html (accessed November 23, 2012). Christianity in France  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_France (accessed November 23, 2012).

    Christianity in Italy  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christtoianity_in_Italy (accessed November 23, 2012). Christianity by Country.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_by_country (accessed November 23, 2012).

  17. Societies are complex entities consisting of public and private associations, legal institutions and civil and criminal law, culture, civic tradition, economic practice, local civil and national governments, and other divinely ordained governments such as the family and the Church.  The national governments of the two European Axis nations became dictatorships which forced themselves, as such, upon these nations.  There was a temporary failure of the German and Italian national governments (and as a result other parts of these societies) to reflect historic Christendom.  But Christendom could not be eradicated from the majority of institutions and individuals in Italy and Germany.  A significant majority of Germans never became Nazis.  However, opposing the Nazi government became very difficult because the German civilians (including Jews) were disarmed.  There was active German resistance against the Hitler regime beginning around 1938 and over 40 attempts to assassinate him between 1933 and 1944.  The almost miraculous preservation of Hitler’s life time and time again must, from a Christian standpoint, be a result of  God’s mysterious providence.   This temporary preservation of Hitler’s life, however, should not be viewed as him obtaining God’s favor.   German Resistance to Nazism  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Resistance_to_Nazism (accessed November 16, 2012). Assassination attempts on Adolf Hitler http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_attempts_on_Adolf_Hitler (accessed November 4, 2012).See also:Ralph Raico. 2010. Great Wars and Great Leaders: A Libertarian Rebuttal. Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute. Ralph Raico.  Nazifying the Germanshttp://www.lewrockwell.com/raico/raico30.1.html (accessed November 23, 2012).

    Stephen P. Halbrook.  Nazi Firearms Law and the Disarming of the Jews.  17 Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, No. 3, 483-535 (2000).   http://www.stephenhalbrook.com/article-nazilaw.pdf (accessed November 12, 2012).

  18. FDR was not the first President to do so but be abandoned Christendom’s long-standing law about waging war against civilians.   This policy can be seen primarily in the Allied air campaign against both Germany and Japan and, in particular with the fire bombing of Dresden (resulting in around 25-35,000 civilian deaths), Hamburg (50,000 dead), and Tokyo (over 100,000 civilian causalities).  Hiroshima (90,000-140,000 dead) and Nagasaki (74-80,000 dead) were atom-bombed under President Truman, who continued the war against civilians. Strategic Bombing During World War II http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_bombing_civilian_casualties.(accessed November 23, 2012).John Denson.  Learning the Historical Truth. Recorded  December 7, 2012, In Podcast http://www.lewrockwell.com/lewrockwell-show/2012/12/07/329-learning-the-historical-truth/ (accessed December 10, 2012).The commander of these operations. General Curtis LeMay,  recognized the criminal nature of these attacks and acknowledged that their only protection against criminal prosecution for war crimes  was an Allied  victory.  Robert McNamara, serving as an adjunct under LeMay and subsequently appointed Secretary of Defense under JFK and LBJ states in the documentary The Fog of War,“LeMay said, “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.”  And I think he’s right.  He and I’d say I, were behaving as war criminals.  LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side lost.  But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?”  The Fog of War   http://www.rbvincent.com/fogofwar.htm (accessed December 3, 2012).  

    67 Japanese Cities Fire bombed in World War II  http://www.ditext.com/japan/napalm.html (accessed November 23, 2012).

    R.J. Rummel. Was World War II American Bombing Democide? http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COMM.10.5.03.HTM (accessed December 3, 2012).

  19. While the evidence is not conclusive regarding Churchill’s involvement (or lack thereof) with the sinking of the HMS Lusitania in WWI, he stated in his memoirs that “embroiling neutral countries in hostilities with the enemy was a crucial part of warfare”.  During WWII, Churchill ordered the unprovoked and “Pearl Harbor” like attack on the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir. “After the fall of France, Churchill demanded that the French surrender their fleet to Britain. The French declined, promising that they would scuttle the ships before allowing them to fall into German hands. Against the advice of his naval officers, Churchill ordered British ships off the Algerian coast to open fire.  About 1500 French sailors were killed.” Ralph Racio, Rethinking Churchill  http://mises.org/daily/2973 (accessed November 23, 2012).
  20. As head of the British Admiralty during WWI,  Churchill implemented  a hunger blockage against Germany. Food for the civilian population became contraband contrary to the established  rules of war.   This hunger blockade lead to the death of an estimated 763,000  German civilians before the Armistice of November 1918.  This blockade did not end when the Armistice was agreed  to but continued  until Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles in July 1919.  It is estimated that an additional 100,000 German civilians died in these nine months.  Ralph Raico.  The Blockade and Attempted Starvation of Germany http://mises.org/daily/4308 (accessed November 23, 2012)Blockade of Germany  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockade_of_Germany (accessed November 23, 2012).
  21. Churchill’s love for war without rules can be seen in the terror-bombing of the cities of Germany.  It is estimated that over 600,000 civilians were killed in these attacks and another 800,000 seriously wounded. Churchill’s war against German civilians was intended to target the civilian population “to break the morale of the Germans and terrorize them into surrendering” (emphasis added). At the end of the war, Churchill authorized the mass deportations to the Soviet Union of Russian, Cossack, German and other peoples who had fled the Soviets, leading to the most certain death.  He also authorized the expulsion of 15 million Germans from Prussia and other East Germans states. These areas were to be given to Poland and the Germans who had resided there for generations had to leave.  Upward to 2 million German civilians died in this modern “trail of tears”  Ralph Raico.  Rethinking Churchill http://www.mises.org/daily/2973(accessed November 23, 2012).
  22. Ralph Raico. Rethinking Churchillhttp://www.mises.org/daily/2973 (accessed November 23, 2012).
  23. FDR authorized an undeclared naval war against Germany beginning in 1941. Jerome M. O’Connor, “FDR’s Undeclared War”, Naval History Magazine  (U.S. Naval Institute) February 2004 http://historyarticles.com/new_page_10.htm (accessed November 23, 2012).T.R. Fenrenbach.  1967. F.D.R.’s Undeclared War: 1939-1941. (David McKay Company, New York).
  24. Patrick J. Buchanan. Did FDR Provoke Pearl Harbor?http://lewrockwell.com/buchanan/buchanan198.html (accessed November 23, 2012).  Robert Higgs. How U.S. Economic Warfare Provoked Japan’s Attack on Pearl Harbor http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1930 (accessed November 23, 2012) or http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9p8z1A3TsxU Video lecture recorded October 27, 2012 (accessed December 7, 2012).   David Gordon. The Truth About the Good War. http://mises.org/misesreview_detail.aspx?control=188&sortorder=issue (accessed November 23, 2012).
  25. John V. Denson. War in History http://www.mises.org/daily/216/War-in-History (accessed November 23, 2012).
  26. For a good summary of FDR”s provocations against both Germany and Japan see:William Henry Chamberlin.  How Franklin Roosevelt Lied America Into War http://tmh.floonet.net/articles/chamberl.html(accessed November 23, 2012).
  27. For alternative views of war from a reformed Christian perspective see: Joel McDurmon, 2012. The Bible & War in America. Power Springs, GA: American Vision. and Greg Bahnsen. 1991.  A Christian View of  War.Nacogdoches, TX:Covenant Media Foundation.
  28. The first claim of “Christian Holy War” was by Pope Urban II in 1095. In 1248, the seventh Crusade began and these so-called “holy war” Crusades had now lasted over 150 years.  There were subsequent claims of “holy war” in the \religious wars of Europe (1100-1650) and colonization of the Americas.  For a discussion of the label “good war” see: Robert Higgs. World War II: An Unspeakable Horror Now Encrusted in Myths http://blog.independent.org/2009/09/01/world-war-ii-an-unspeakable-horror-now-encrusted-in-myths/ (accessed November 23, 2012).
  29. This unbridled nationalistic “patriotism” that Phillips appears so fervent in support of is foreign to historic Christendom.  Prior to the 19th century, Western Civilization was free of this “Patriotic Idolatry” which places the duty to the state above or equal with one’s duty to God.
  30. The direct legacy of war – the dead, the debt, the inflation, the change in economic and social structure that comes from immense transfers of resources by taxation and money creation – these things are all obvious. What has not been so obvious has been the pervasive yet subtle change in our increasing acceptance of federal nonmarket control, and even our enthusiasm for it, as a result of the experience of war.”Jonathan Hughes. 1977.  The Governmental Habit: Economic Controls from Colonial Times to the Present.New York: Basic Books (137).  See also: Murray N. Rothbard. War Collectivism in World War I http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard91.html (accessed November 23, 2012).
  31. By 1945, when Hitler, defeated, had committed suicide and Japan, atom-bombed, had surrendered and was under American occupation, the war had…solidly established the welfare state.  Its beginnings go back to Germany in the 1880’s; then to England and the budget of 1911; conclusively to the 1930’s, when President Roosevelt with his brain trust of Great Switch Liberals…set up the agencies to administer a  full program.  Throughout the West nowadays no other type of government is dreamed of; the only debate  between opposed parties is whether the government shall be fatter or leaner and its appears that sustained dieting is something bureaucracies find as hard as individuals.”  Jacques Barzun. From Dawn to Decadence (749).
  32. Robert Higgs. Wartime Origins of Modern Income-Tax Withholding http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2092 (accessed November 23, 2012). Robert Higgs. From Wartime Expedient to Permanent Pork Barrel: WFC to RFC to SBA http://www.independent.org/newsroom /article.asp?id=1391(accessed November 23, 2012). Robert Higgs. How War Amplified Federal Power in the Twentieth Century http://www.independent.org/publications/article.asp?id=113 (accessed November 23, 2012). 

    Robert Higgs. The Catastrophic Impact of War on Liberty.  Mp3 Recorded July 25, 2011 http://mises.org/media/6518/The-Catastrophic-Impact-of-War-on-Liberty (accessed December 7, 2012).

    Anthony Gregory. Noninterventionism: Cornerstone of a Free Societyhttp://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/noninterventionism-cornerstone-of-a-free-society/(accessed November 23, 2012).

  33. Robert Higgs. America Won the World Wars, but Americans Lost http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1693 (accessed November 23, 2012).

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